WASHINGTON (September 20, 2018) – After seeing their home opener postponed due to Hurricane Florence, coach Mike London and the Howard University football team turned their focus to the Bethune-Cookman (B-CU) Wildcats in the 35th annual Circle City Classic in Indianapolis. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts.
Fans can follow all the action via live stats or ESPN3/ESPNU.
Additionally, fans will have the ability to listen to the game live with play-by-play from Trevin A. Jones and his color analyst Tiffany Hoyd. Tune in to the WHBC96.3HD3; SiriusXM Channel 142; or Resident Network Channel 51 for all Bison football coverage. Pregame coverage starts at 2:45 p.m.
On Sept. 8, the Bison were unable to find their rhythm as they fell to FBS foe Kent State, 54-14, for the second consecutive year.
Howard’s high-powered offense was held to only 270 total yards. Sophomore Dedrick Parson (Philadelphia) had 138 all-purpose yards, including 107 receiving yards on four catches.
Defensively, second-year defensive back and Ohio native Bryan Cook (Cincinnati) registered a team-high eight tackles (seven solo), including two tackles-for-loss. Redshirt junior Devin Hurtado (Fremont, Calif.) filled the stat sheet with four tackles (three solo), a fumble recovery, an interception, and half sack in the loss.
Howard (0-2) enters league play after seeing their home opener against Savannah State postponed due to Hurricane Florence. Coach London’s squad used the extra time to work on fundamentals in preparation for the Wildcats.
“Once the game was cancelled, we had a few practices and focused on getting better,” London said in Tuesday’s Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) weekly teleconference. “We’re prepared to play Bethune-Cookman in the Circle City Classic. Coach [Terry] Sims does a great job with his team. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
With an unexpected Saturday off, the Bison had an opportunity to correct their errors while getting healthy after playing two FBS foes back-to-back.
“We were able to get some practices and correct some things,” London stated. “Some players were able to get those nagging injuries healed. We’re in conference play and it’s an honor to be a part of the Circle City Classic in Indiana.”
In 1998, Howard beat B-CU by a score of 32-25 inside the RCA Dome in Indy. Last season, with less than one minute remaining in the 4th quarter, quarterback Caylin Newton (Atlanta) ran a go-ahead 5-yard touchdown and gave HU a 26-24 victory. As a result, this was the first time Howard beat B-CU at home since 1996. Both football teams finished second and third, respectively, a year ago in the conference play after going 7-4 overall (6-2 MEAC).
“It’s going to be important for Caylin [Newton] to mature and rise to the occasion to win football games for us,” London expressed. “He did a tremendous job against Ohio and we left some plays on the field at Kent State. We’re going to play a very talented Bethune-Cookman team and we’re going to rely on him to make good decision.”
Defensively, Cook leads the squad in total tackles (11 solo), including two tackles-for-loss, and two pass breakups. Junior Marcellos Allison (Durham, N.C.) and freshman Rodney Dennard (Braddock, Pa.) are second and third on the team with 12 (11 solo) and 11 (10 solo) tackles, respectively.
Head Coach Terry Sims is now in his fourth year at the helm of the Bethune-Cookman Football program. The Knoxville alum holds a record of 21-14 overall with the Wildcats and holds just an 0-1 record as a collegiate head coach against Howard, in which that occurred last year at “The Mecca.”
Monday (Sept. 17), Bethune-Cookman’s redshirt junior Akevious Williams was named MEAC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts at Florida Atlantic. In a 49-28 setback against the Owls, Williams came off the bench and finished with 201 yards passing and three touchdowns. He would add a rushing touchdown with 23 yards on four carries overall. For Williams, it was his second consecutive game accounting for at least four touchdowns.
After the bye week (Oct. 6), Howard hits the road to Durham, N.C. where the North Carolina Central Eagles await. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at www.HUBison.com.
(Story Courtesy of Howard University Athletics)